| November 10, 2019 05:06 PM
Netflix series The Crown is facing backlash for hinting that Queen Elizabeth II had an affair with her horse racing manager.
The third season of the show is set to air next Sunday, and one episode features the British monarch traveling to France and the United States with Lord Porchester, whom she affectionately calls “Porchie.” Their interactions in the episode, as well as Prince Phillip’s reaction upon her return, imply that the pair may have had a romantic relationship. However, the notion has been flat-out denied.
Dickie Arbiter, the monarch’s former press secretary, told the Sunday Times Saturday night, “This is very distasteful and totally unfounded.”
“The Queen is the last person in the world to have ever considered looking at another man,” he continued. “Not only is this muckraking — this is gossip that’s been washing around for decades. It’s got absolutely no substance.”
Arbiter went on to accuse the show’s writer Peter Morgan of “beefing up” the scripts and expressed concern that “people will take whatever he writes as sacrosanct.”
“The Crown is fiction,” he said. “No one knows any conversation between members of the royal family, but people will tell the story they want to and sensationalise it.”
The Crown has been known to delve into the alleged affairs of the royal family, including Phillip’s supposed connections with the 1960s Profumo sex scandal and the affairs of Princess Margaret and her husband Lord Snowdon. Also depicted is Princess Anne’s brief romance with Andrew Parker Bowles, the ex-husband of Prince Charles’s wife Camilla, with whom he had an affair while married to Princess Diana.
While there has not yet been any evidence of a romantic relationship, the queen, 93, remained close to Porchester until his death in 2001.